Bold Tendencies 6

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Bold Tendencies 6
© Martin Westwood, Pere and Terre Hanging out at Bistro Repetere, 2012

This is the sixth outing for Bold Tendencies, the summer sculpture park that commissions international artists to make site-specific work for the top four floors of a disused multi-storey car park. It remains a clever and ambitious concept but, as in previous years, fails to live up to the anticipation that builds as you make your way up through the deserted and palpably eerie levels of the building.

The work of Glaswegian Mary Redmond is the first to emerge from the gloom: a bamboo forest sprouts from the concrete only to be bent inward by the ceiling, while huge scraps of corrugated steel are strewn like hurricane debris. It's a strong start, a sort of feng shui arrangement of the natural and industrial.

Moving up, LA-based artist Sarah Cain's instinctive, abstract painting installations are a sort of high-minded vandalism but sit awkwardly in these spaces. If it's hard for Cain to work with the brutal unforgiving architecture, the final four artists – Carter Mull, Peles Empire, Laura Buckley and Martin Westwood – face the added challenge of setting their art against the astonishing view of London that greets viewers on the roof. Westwood's installation works best here, his rubble-like 'farfalle extrusions' and glass vitrines (filled largely with silica gel sachets) lower the eye and provide a mundane contrast to the city's glittering skyline.

Unfortunately, however, most people will still find themselves picking quickly over any symbolism in favour of a drink at the roaringly popular Frank's Café and Campari Bar – an annual addition that inadvertently seems to have sidelined the artwork that it was originally intended to promote.

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Event website: http://www.boldtendencies.com
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